The bone maker

I’ve been thinking a bit about bones lately. Aching bones. Turkey bones. Dem bones. 

As far as aching bones are concerned, my fingers sometimes remind me that I’m almost 51 and it’s going to rain, only it’s been a dry year, so I’m not sure if I’m imagining it or if I really am getting arthritic in my (not so very) old age.

When it comes to turkey bones, however, I have a better grip on my knowledge. My mom was a magician when it came to turkey bones. The day after Thanksgiving she’d be back in the kitchen, removing every last vestige of meat from the once glorious turkey and plopping it into the largest cooking pot we owned along with an onion or two, celery, carrots, a bay leaf, salt and peppercorns and a whole lot of water. That thing would go on the back burner and simmer all day, coaxing out the goodness of the bones.

It always amazed me how Mom could make something out of nothing. 

This year I cooked down the turkey bones, too. I don’t do it every year. Sometimes I stick it in the freezer, meaning to get to it later, and then, along about Memorial Day, I disinter its forgotten and freezer-burned carcass from the bottom of the deepfreeze, give it one look and toss it in the garbage. 

But not this year. 

I pulled out my largest cooking pot. I wrestled with the greasy remains. I chucked in onions, skins and all, along with some celery seed because I was out of celery and all the other mystical ingredients and seven hours later I, too, had made something from nothing.

Last night we had turkey soup with dumplings. I’m pretty sure it was the best such thing I’d ever made. There is a pitcher full of broth in the freezer for another day. A few smaller containers for recipes. Each one gelatinous, healthy, magical.

Something from nothing.

“Dem bones, dem bones, dem dry bones…” I don’t know if that song is politically correct these days or not, but I like it. Ezekiel prayed and called an army of bones into the service of God! Talk about something from nothing. It’s a little-recalled Old Testament Bible story, but wow, it’s a good one. My guess is it’s not taught often in Sunday School these days – too strange, too scary for children – but the truth of it is golden: God can take dried up old bones and turn them to His service. Rheumatic old bones. Freezer burned bones.

Kinda makes me realize that even stuck at home in the middle of a pandemic, there’s a place for me in God’s plan. It’s never too late. We’re never too old. God can use our dusty selves.

He’s the maker of our bones, after all.

“Now hear the word of the Lord!”

 

Closed doors and open windows

So I have a few thoughts this morning. Random, perhaps, but here they are nonetheless.

– I said I’d post every Tuesday. That hasn’t happened! From now on, I will post when I am ready to post. Today, for example, in a crazy shift from the Tuesday format, I am posting on a Friday! I know. Wild. Don’t let yourself get dizzy from this radical change.

– In a total change of subject, it’s a strange feeling to be a time-bomb. Perhaps you can relate. “Do I or don’t I? Will I or won’t I? How bad will it be, if it be at all?” Those are the questions I felt when I was possibly exposed to this stupid virus until we heard that the person I was near did not have it, thankfully. Her husband did, though. And he died. Which is horrible and tragic and shocking. His death has made me want to just stay home a lot more than I did before because what if I have it and I don’t know it and I give it to someone? That scares me more than the illness. Though I’m not exactly wanting to be ill, either. It’s spreading around our town. A lot. Maybe it’s just in different factions than were affected last spring, so I notice it more, but it seems more real now. School is going all online again which is sad, but also good, but also stressful.

– The weather is turning, the leaves are falling, the ice makes nightly appearances on the lake and I haven’t yet worn a hat but I sure have worn my gloves. The cat likes me now that it’s chilly. She jumps in my lap (as long as I have a blanket over my legs) and deigns to grace me with her presence. Everyone in the family is jealous.

An autumn sunset over our point.

– I have begun reading through the Psalms again. One a night. I like some of them and I can’t really relate to others but there are some beautiful words. Psalm 39:4,5 (NIV) really stood out to me, thinking of my friend’s husband. “Show me, Lord, my life’s end and the number of my days; let me know how fleeting my life is. You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.”

Yes, even those who seem healthy, strong, unlikely to be badly effected, are not secure. God is showing us how fleeting our lives are, and it’s not comfortable. I am intrigued by God’s concept of time, though. I look forward to understanding that when I get to heaven.

In the meantime, we press on. “Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:13,14 NIV